"This morning, we learned February retail sales increased by
1.1%, which was much better than what was expected by most
economists," said Schaeffer's Senior Equity Analyst Joe Bell on a
day that saw the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
rally behind these strong figures to push its winning streak to
nine days -- the first time in 16 years that has happened. "This
positive news has allowed the consumer discretionary sector to
outperform the broad market on a day where we didn't get much
Continue reading for more on today's market, including
- Schaeffer's Senior Options Strategist Tony Venosa, CMT,
why investors should buy Walgreen Company (
) on its current breakout.
- Our Senior Trading Analyst Bryan Sapp details
of those retail numbers; plus, analysis of Suncor Energy (
- Our Weekly Contrarian: Can Google Inc (
$1,000 a share any time soon?
- The Dow makes it nine wins in a row, more about those retail
sales numbers, and how Facebook (
) option traders reacted to the big announcement regarding
Boosted by stronger-than-anticipated retail sales numbers, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)
kept its nine-day winning streak alive. But the race to the finish
was a close one, and the index's six-day streak of new all-time
intraday highs was snapped. The Dow gained more than 5 points, or
less than 0.1%, to finish at 14,455.28. The 30-member Dow saw half
its members advance, led by International Business Machines (IBM)
and Boeing (BA), which each climbed 0.7%. The 15 decliners were
paced by Alcoa (AA), which fell 0.9%.
S&P 500 Index (SPX)
also gained, picking up 2 points, or 0.1%, to close at 1,554.52.
Nasdaq Composite (COMP)
finished at 3,245.12, up nearly 3 points, or 0.1%.
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX)
fell 0.4 point, or 3.6%, to close at 11.83.
A Trader's Take
"The Dow continued its unbelievable streak of positive days,"
Bell noted. "Although the moves haven't been all that impressive,
the nine consecutive positive days is still remarkable, as it
hasn't happened since late 1996."
3 Things to Know About Today's Market
- As stated, retail sales
1.1% in February -- the largest gain in five months -- which
surpassed economists' estimates.
- A day after the House Republicans submitted their federal
budget proposal, the Senate Democrats
their first such proposal in four years Wednesday, setting the
stage for what is sure to be a long and drawn-out debate over
government spending and taxes.
- And two tech giants
today, with Netflix (
) adding a feature to allow U.S. subscribers to share movie and
TV recommendations on the social network Facebook (
5 Stocks We Were Watching Today
- Both call and put traders
on Facebook (
) in light of its aforementioned pairing with Netflix (
- One options strategist pulled off
a short straddle
on videogame maker Electronic Arts (EA), looking for the stock to
stagnate over the next month.
- Caesars Entertainment Corp (CZR) jumped out of the gate
today, but option traders weren't buying it, as put traders
the casino operator.
- Option traders
a short-term downturn in Best Buy (BBY), but might be
disappointed, given the stock's recent rise up the charts.
- Put traders
that today's downturn in Cisco Systems (CSCO) would continue into
For a look at today's options movers and commodities
activity, head to page 2.
Oil prices fell for the first time in five days on news of a
weekly build in crude supplies, combined with a stronger dollar.
April crude closed at $92.52 down 2 cents, or less than 0.1%.
Gold also fell on stronger-than-expected retail sales, which
boosted the dollar. April gold futures closed at $1,588.40, down
$3.30, or 0.2%. Gold had hit just below the $1,600-an-ounce
threshold in intraday trading.
At the end of every market day, the staff at Schaeffer's
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